Current Mortgage Rates -- May 19, 2021: Rates Mixed

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on May 19, 2021

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Large, modern-style home with Today's Mortgage Rates graphic.

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Mortgage rates determine what you'll pay for your home loan. Here are today's average rates.

On May 19, 2021, average mortgage rates are mixed, with some up and others down. The rate you are approved for when you apply for a home loan will depend on the loan repayment term as well as your financial credentials.

Check out today's average rates to learn more about how much it might cost you to borrow to buy a home:

Mortgage Type Today's Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 3.170%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.971%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.411%
5/1 ARM 2.911%

Data source: The Ascent's national mortgage interest rate tracking.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 3.170%, up 0.009% from yesterday's average of 3.161%. A loan at today's average rate would cost you $431 per month in principal and interest for each $100,000 you borrow. Over the life of the loan, your total interest costs would add up to $55,098 per $100,000 borrowed.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.971%, down 0.02% from yesterday's average of 2.991%. If you borrow at today's average rate, you'd have a monthly principal and interest payment of $553 per $100,000 borrowed. During your entire loan repayment period, you'd pay total interest costs of $32,755 per $100,000 borrowed.

Shortening your payoff time saves you money over time. As you can see, the 20-year loan has far lower interest charges over the life of the loan. But with fewer monthly payments to make, each one must be higher. That could mean payments may put more of a strain on your budget.

15-year mortgage rates

The average 15-year mortgage rate today is 2.411%, down 0.002% from yesterday's average of 2.413%. You'd be looking at a principal and interest payment of $663 per $100,000 borrowed at today's average rate. Total interest costs would be $19,269 per $100,000 in mortgage debt over the life of the loan.

The monthly payments on a 15-year mortgage may be even more difficult to work into your monthly budget. That's because they need to be much higher since this payoff time is very short. Of course, you will save a lot of money over time if you choose this loan.

5/1 ARMs

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.911%, down 0.037% from yesterday's average of 2.948%. Although this rate is very competitive, it's not guaranteed over the life of the loan. It will be in effect only for five years, after which time rates can begin adjusting and may go up. If rates rise, payments and total costs will too. Consider whether you want to take that chance before choosing an ARM.

Should I lock my mortgage rate now?

A mortgage rate lock guarantees you a certain interest rate for a specified period of time -- usually 30 days, but you may be able to secure your rate for up to 60 days. You'll generally pay a fee to lock in your mortgage rate, but that way, you're protected in case rates climb between now and when you actually close on your mortgage.

If you plan to close on your home within the next 30 days, then it pays to lock in your mortgage rate based on today's rates -- especially since they're still pretty competitive. But if your closing is more than 30 days away, you may want to choose a floating rate lock instead for what will usually be a higher fee, but one that could save you money in the long run. A floating rate lock lets you secure a lower rate on your mortgage if rates fall prior to your closing, and while today's rates are still quite low, historically speaking, we don't know if rates will go up or down over the next few months. As such, it pays to:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 45 days
  • FLOAT if closing in 60 days

To find out what rates are available to you, compare rates from at least three of the best mortgage lenders before locking in.

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